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Wise Words

We allow the alcoholics in our lives to experience the consequences of their own actions. -Detachment

Reprinted with permission of
Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA

Frequently Asked Questions

These are questions newcomers to Al-Anon often ask. If someone close to you has a drinking problem, these questions might be on your mind too. If you have other questions, please contact the Al-Anon office nearest you for more information.

  1. How can I tell if I have been affected by someone else’s drinking? Answer 1…
  2. How did Al-Anon begin, and is it the same as AA? Answer 2…
  3. I either live in an area where there aren’t a lot of Al-Anon meetings, or I am home-bound and can’t get to meetings. Do I have any other options? Answer 3…
  4. If my alcoholic (spouse, parent, child, relative or friend…) would only stop drinking, everything would be fine. Why do I have to go to meetings? Answer 4…

Answers to the FAQs:

  1. You may find yourself being blamed for everything that is wrong. Fighting and arguing escalate. You may live in fear and isolation. Confusion and frustration abound. You want so much to help, but nothing works. You feel despair, like no solution is possible. We become irritable and unreasonable without knowing it. You take actions (well, someone has to!!) that may not be yours to take. You are driven to keep up appearances, cover up what is really happening. If you wonder whether you’ve been affected by someone’s drinking, take one of the 20-question quizzes! Al-Anon may be the answer. Top
  2. Al-Anon began in May of 1951, started by Lois W. and Anne B. Lois was the wife of one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). During the early years of AA, spouses and family members traveled with their alcoholics to meetings. They soon realized that they, too, could benefit from working the same Twelve Steps as the members of AA used. They began to welcome other new members, and pass on to them what had been learned. The fellowship began on that very small level, and now serves over 20,000 groups throughout the world! Though we are separate from AA, we always cooperate with AA. Top
  3. Yes, today you DO have other options for recovery! We have a Lone Member service, through which Al-Anon members share their experience through written correspondence. Because of today’s technology, Al-Anon also offers meetings on-line, and chat rooms. Also, we have a directory for special needs, consisting of selected literature in Braille, as well as cassette tapes and CDs. Top
  4. Alcoholism is a FAMILY disease, and everyone is affected, not just the drinker. It takes a while for the disease to progress, and changes do not happen overnight. Al-Anon offers tools to change the way we live, and it takes a while to accept that change is necesssary, and even longer for those actions to become second-nature. In some cases, the drinker does not seek help, and our lives can become unmanageable. However, we have choices. Al-Anon offers us a way to find contentment and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not. Give Al-Anon a try. Top

What To Do Next?

  1. Find a meeting near you
  2. Begin on the road to recovery!

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Al-Anon’s Three Legacies

Al-Anon has three legacies: Recovery (through the Steps), Unity (through the Traditions) and Service (through the Concepts).

Upcoming Events

Visit our events page to learn about upcoming conventions, conferences, Area and District meetings, and other Al-Anon activities. To post an event to this page, contact the Webmaster.

Have You Been Affected?

Take our 20-question quiz to see whether you’ve been affected by someone’s drinking. Al-Anon may be able to help!